Last May, an investigation involving federal regulators and prosecutors from all 50 states led to four national cancer charities being charged with swindling consumers out of $187 million in charitable donations. Today, two of those bogus charities — responsible for $75 million in bilked donations — have agreed to close up shop and provide refunds to donors.
We’ve said it a thousand times: scammers are the worst, and those that take advantage of organizations trying to do good in the world are the lowest of the low. Such was allegedly the case for Liberty Supply Co., which federal regulators have accused of running an office supply scam that targeted charitable organizations and small businesses. [More]
Over the weekend, tornadoes ripped through the Dallas area, rending homes into piles of wood and destroying lives. Additionally, bad weather in the region resulted in damage to the property of countless other Americans. We can understand the desire to get your life back in order immediately — or to donate money to help victims — but don’t let yourself be taken in by unscrupulous scammers. [More]
From time to time you may hear of a charity that accepts the donation of older, used vehicles that owners simply no longer have use for, promising to donate the profit of the future sale to a charitable program. While it might seem like a fairly straightforward operation, the state of California claims two such groups weren’t keeping their promises, instead using the funds to pay for their own expenses. [More]
Car Donation Foundation, more popularly known as “Wheels for Wishes,” is the nation’s largest auto donation charity. Every year, it takes in millions of dollars from donated cars for the supposed purpose of benefiting local chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says the charity has been misleading donors about its connections to Make-A-Wish and about how much money that organization was getting from the donated vehicles. [More]
There are more than 4,500 Walmart stores in the U.S., but the nation’s largest retailer continues to expand. The company, once associated with rural communities, has recently made pushes into urban markets. And a new complaint to the IRS accuses Walmart of wrongfully using its tax-exempt Walmart Foundation charity to get a foothold in those cities. [More]
Federal regulators, state officials and prosecutors and law enforcement officers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia partnered today to charge four cancer charities and their operators for running a scheme that swindle consumers out of $187 million in charitable donations. Two of the charities have agreed to settle the charges and dissolve their businesses, while two other plan to fight the charges in court. [More]
If you’ve signed up for the Do Not Call List, you shouldn’t get phone solicitations except from companies you do business with and charitable organizations. If you’re getting calls from a group you aren’t interested in sending money to, or you just don’t like making donations over the phone, they’re just as annoying as commercial calls. [More]
While the person who calls you to ask for a charitable donation is probably representing a non-profit organization, that telemarketer may be employed by a for-profit fundraising company hired by the charity. But just how much of what you’re giving ends up going to the charity, and how much goes to line the telemarketer’s pockets? [More]
Scroll through your Facebook timeline and you’ll no doubt see any number of people passing on links, photos, stories, invites to groups… all for allegedly good causes. It’s become increasingly simple to say you support things like ending world hunger or providing shelter to victims of natural disaster, while at the same time doing absolutely nothing that actually helps to solve those problems. Such behavior has earned the name “slacktivism,” and a new study aims to show how many people can trick themselves into thinking they have done enough by simply putting on a ribbon or liking a Facebook page. [More]
They say it’s better to give than to receive, but if you can also get a little something back when you give, what’s not to like? While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with tossing some cash to those bell-ringing Santas, there’s a better way to give. [More]
Between the recent tragic flooding in Colorado and yesterday’s fatal shooting in Washington, D.C., it’s been one of those weeks that make many people wonder want to do something, anything, to help those who are grieving, suffering, or in need. Sadly, as we’ve seen too many times to count, tragedies always bring out the worst in a small number of people looking to cash in on the charity of well-meaning folks. [More]
When does a book donation turn from a welcome bit of assistance into an unwanted nuisance? Perhaps after everyone has already read it, turning it into a wild success but one that doesn’t necessarily merit a permanent position on the book shelf. After all, who really needs to own a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey when all your friends have it for the borrowing anyway? [More]
NY Shuts Down Sham Fundraising Company That Took In Millions Of Donations For Breast Cancer “Research”
Between 2005 and 2011, the Coalition Against Breast Cancer raised around $10 million in donations intended for research to combat the disease, but authorities say that no such research ever occurred, and all that money went to pay for a grand total of 40 mammograms in seven years. [More]
We told you on Monday morning about the scammers who were setting up fake Facebook accounts, websites and Twitter feeds in the names of the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Now the family of one 6-year-old victim is trying to put a stop to it. [More]
NY Attorney General Calls On Breast Cancer Charities To Be Transparent About Where The Money Is Going
It seems like every October, there are more pink items for sale to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which has led to growing concern that the focus is on selling merchandise without being clear about how much money is actually going to cancer research. In an effort to keep these charities honest, the Attorney General for New York state has issued a set of best practices. [More]
It’s been a week since a dozen people were killed and 58 others were injured at a late-night showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Co., and folks from around the world have been looking to donate money to help those affected by the tragedy. But before you hand over any cash, be sure it’s a legitimate charity.
Gifts to many charities can backfire, placing you on hit lists for other organizations that share information about their networks of benefactors. A donation can place you in the crosshairs of other companies in need of donations, bombarding you with cold calls and mailings and making you feel like the object of one of those “for a good time, call XXX” messages etched on bathroom stalls.